Who’s killing Windows?

Sun, Oracle, IBM, Citrix, the EU, supreme court judges: the list of companies and organisations that have tried, and failed, to halt the Windows juggernaut over the past 15 years is both long and illustrious. Now, however, the operating system that has dominated the personal computer era is facing the first truly serious threat to its survival. But from whom?

Who's killing Windows?

Top of the suspect list is Microsoft itself. And, in particular, Vista. After five long years of waiting, the only eyewitness who believes that the new OS has been a runaway success is Microsoft. We untangle the evidence to determine what’s gone wrong for Vista and whether there’s any hope of a revival for the flagging OS – or, if you’re Microsoft, “the fastest-moving OS ever”.

We then put two of the rising challengers to Microsoft’s desktop OS dominance under the spotlight. Dell is so enamoured with Ubuntu that it’s decided to pre-install the Linux OS on a selection of its systems. We find out what makes it stand out from the dozens of Linux distros. The editor of our sister magazine, MacUser, also explains why he believes the new features in Mac OS X Leopard will leave Windows trailing once again.

But perhaps these are all red herrings, designed to put us off the scent? Perhaps the biggest threat to Windows isn’t a rival OS, but no OS at all? Jack Schofield calls on his decades of experience in computer journalism to investigate whether the growing trend towards web applications should be giving Steve Ballmer sleepless nights.

Writing off Microsoft is, however, a mug’s game. So in our road to recovery section, we look at what’s coming in Vista SP1 and the highly secretive Fiji project, while PC Pro columnist Jon Honeyball delivers his ten must-haves for the next version of Windows.

Finally, we’re keen to hear your views on this ongoing mystery – send your thoughts, theories and any alternative suspects to letters@pcpro.co.uk.

What’s gone wrong with Vista?

The rising challengers

The end of the OS?

The road to recovery

Jon Honeyball’s wishlist

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